White Dutch broadly receptive of BLM protests; Concerns over social distancing
While nearly two-thirds of white Dutch residents (63 percent) commiserate with the ongoing anti-racism protests in the Netherlands, a larger majority (73 percent) voice concern over social distancing guidelines being ignored. This is according to the results of an EenVandaag Opinion Panel survey on Monday in which some 33,600 Netherlands residents with white skin color were asked about their views on the recent protests.
Among the results, EenVandaag also found that with a sizable minority (40 percent) claim to have changed their behavior in some form following the protests. Exactly a fifth (20 percent), for example, said that they had been thinking, reading and talking to their close community about racism. Five percent said that they had posted a black square on social media, while a further 12 percent posted or liked something on social media related to anti-racism more generally.
"I think I don't know half of the extent to which racism plays in the Netherlands, because I am white myself," one respondent told EenVandaag.
Despite broad support for the protests, a large number of the respondents who expressed worry over the potential lack of social distancing also expressed additional concern about the negative tone they perceived some of the protestors as having adopted. Some even went so far as accusing the protests of sowing more division, according to EenVandaag.
One person was upset by musician and poet Akwaisi's metaphor that he would "kick Zwarte Piet in the face," while historical statues were vandalized. "Is this bridging behavior?" they asked.
In addition, EenVandaag noted that not only are older generations of Dutch residents less likely to question their own behavior when it comes to issues of race, but that the sentiment can be found across political parties. According to the Opinion Panel, older members of parties as disparate as the VVD, CDA, SP and 50PLUS are all more likely than their younger counterparts to voice skepticism of the recent protests.
The results come after two weeks after Black Lives Matter demonstrations began sweeping across the Netherlands. The protest action, part of a global anti-racism movement, have collectively drawn tens of thousands of people onto the streets in the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Groningen, Nijmegen, Enchede, Maastricht, Zwolle, Den Bosch, Breda and Leeuwarden.